‘Readings in Nonviolence’ features extracts from our
favourite books, pamphlets, articles or other material on nonviolence, or
reviews of important works in the field (suggestions welcome).
Hope in a time of war –
Religious perspectives on peacemaking
by Kathy Galloway, Leader of the Iona Community
(Introduced by Rob Fairmichael)
See how these Christians love one another would not be a thought which immediately comes to mind when you think of Ireland, particularly of Northern Ireland, nor, indeed, of many other parts of the world. Practice may not follow theory, or, in this case, previous practice. But what is Christian theory anyway? In this wide-ranging Movement for the Abolition of War (MAW) Remembrance Sunday Lecture at the Imperial War Museum in London on 9th November 2008, Kathy Galloway, leader of the Iona Community, gave an insightful and wide-ranging view on the topic which is a useful resource.
She starts off with Adomnán and the Law of the Innocents, or Cain Adomnan, enacted at Birr (now in Co Offaly) in CE 697 (for more details on this see Adomnán at Birr, AD 697, Essays in commemoration of the Law of the Inncocents, ed. Thomas O’Loughlin, Four Courts Press, 2001, ISBN 1-85182-538-X). This is an important precedent in our Irish story and, indeed, in the story of Christianity. Kathy Galloway goes on to trace the abandonment of pacifism by Christianity as a whole, and looks at the myth of redemptive violence and the impossibility of Christian ‘just war’. She then moves on to active nonviolence, bearing witness, and the principles of nonviolence.